When we ask questions, we expect direct answers and not hints to bang our brains and find the answers from it. World is full of people short of time and Google figured out that mostly people ask specific questions. The answers need to be short, precise and direct. As a step in the direction, websites with direct answers get featured in Google snippet. Users get the gist of the answer they are looking for. They also know about websites having detailed and direct information they need.

With a lot of thoughts behind it Google launched its snippet on testing basis. It’s a good step in improving the user experience and from what it looks this might be a permanent move.

What are the advantages of being features in Google snippet?

The snippet awards the most direct and relevant response from what it feels actually answers the questions directly irrespective of its SERP ranking. Surprisingly, response of website second in the ranking gets featured in snippet over the top ones. The snippet consists of summary of the answer provided on a web page along with the page title, URL and link to the website. The snippet usually answers the questions; the user might be looking for without going to a particular web page and searching for the answer in all the information provided there.

A small glitch like the same website being shown twice, in the snippet as well as a search result is being worked on and we might see a possible solution soon.

How will snippets impact the SEO scenario?

It is very likely that people will get more interested in sites that are SEO experts believe that snippets will impact the traffic to websites in unpredictable way and some may see a substantial dip in traffic. Google allows websites a feature not to get featured in the snippet by simply copying a small code in their page. No webmaster will opt for it in right minds.

Marketing experts have started working on how to get featured in the snippet as it supposedly means a lot. For starters, it is a reward by the Google itself recognizing their information as the top result. Increased traffic and a chance to actually jump the SERP queue is in waiting for the right websites.

However, some sites have shown traffic to go down as the required information is displayed in the snippet and going to website becomes redundant.

How to get featured in snippets?

The information has to be in simple steps and the simple steps get boiled down to:

  1.  Understand the common and simple questions, the users might ask for your market area

This basically means asking questions that your website might probably answer. Statements that starts with “W” like what, where, when, why and even how has to be figured out. Go deep and look into all kind of queries people have been asking around for your market space. Then ask yourself “does my website answer them”. Instead of having a blog titled as ‘The best place in Delhi’ title it as ‘which is the best place in Delhi’ or ‘what place is the best in Delhi’ this makes google index your web site in top priority as the entire string in your title matches the search string.

  1.   Answer the related questions in a very clear and direct manner

Try to bring in easy steps for users to follow or simply one or two liner definition to begin with. Back this with more visual based content in form videos, info graphics, snapshots etc. Instead of mass targeting, focus on individual customer one at a time. From there you will get the response you need to provide to mass. Most of the people prefer short and sweet answer rather than something big. Here where you have to implement the strategy ‘less is more’, if a particular content or subject can be dealt in a small and precise manner than google will prefer this content rather a large and detailed content.

Remember, one question leads to another that needs to be answered. Google provides suggestion at the bottom of the snippet which you might like to target.

  1.  Provide valuable information

Not just information but suitably selected information that might be related to the question needs to be provided. Focus on content and you will eventually end up in snippets.These snippets mainly collected from those pages in which people with similar search string spend more time and the websites have lesser bounce rate. The pages that provide accurate and valuable information will automatically attract more audience and hence choose these sites to display in snippet.

  1.  Users can find the answer easily

The information needs to be arranged and provided on website in an easy manner for better user experience. The key here lies in user engagement and snippet just acts as the gateway for users. No one likes to enter a website and search for their desired content, the content should be the center of the page and it should easily reach the visitors view angle. Google generally prefers to show the websites that has the core content resembling the search string.

What other factors play a major role in snippets?

Some other factors that play a major role are:

  1. Back links play a role in getting to the top page but not snippets.
  2. Search queries need to appear on in headings and title.
  3. The answer to the queries should appear right below the heading or title. They should be around 60 words of length in a precise language.
  4. Focus on page structure aligned with the query and arrange them logically.
  5. Emphasis on FAQ or question answer pages.

Getting featured is a good thing for key pages of your website and establish authority in the market space. Keywords might be the right place for introspection and checking how many of them are based on queries. A lot will yet depend on the page design to provide simple clear and direct answers in it.

Google has made the writing on the wall clear and user experience has and will always be their top priority. It is time website masters start thinking the same way and organize their website accordingly.

What kind of answers gets covered in snippets is the big question and below types are mostly covered:

  1. Paragraph:  It can be, with or without image. Clear cut definitions are the best examples. They should be not more than 2-3 lines to get covered and avoid lengthy explanations.
  2. List: The kind of answers one expects in form of steps. Simple points which depict the action points or even couple of words like advantages.
  3. Table: A small table providing the result systematically for the users.

Do you stand a chance to get featured?

Well firstly, in digital marketing world everyone stands an equal chance to achieve it. Chances are bright if you appear on the first page.

Secondly this is an on going work and the persistence and hard work is the key.

Beating Wikipedia might be a bit tough because of sheer size and work done. Still the attempt will give you more than a snippet.

So where should I start from?

Well firstly, in digital marketing world everyone stands an equal chance to achieve it. This is regarded as the big advantage in the digital field.  Chances are bright if you appear on the first page. If you are not in the first page of google result, then we `

Secondly this is an on going work and the persistence and hard work is the key. Most of the websites that feature in the snippets are nearly 10 to 20 years old website. This doesn’t mean that only old websites stand a chance, it is the hard work that is put in the website besides anything make them valuable. Hence to beat the others, you have do work that is not only equal to your competitors but in fact something more than what others are doing.

Beating Wikipedia might be a bit tough because of sheer size and work done. Still the attempt will give you more than a snippet.

  1. Start with answering very specific questions. Examples can start with what, who, why, where etc which lead to direct questions and expect a direct answer like the ones given below:
  2. Start checking the information you have provided earlier and adjusting them to make it simpler and more of Q& A based.
  3. Look for questions in your domain that been unanswered or need a better explanation than that available.
  4. As always, focus on good quality content than anything else. Snippets is just another milestone for anyone and not a destination.

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